Modern locksmiths such as the chaps at Keymark need to be able to open not only key locks, but also electronic locks. There are a variety of tools available, but these are some of the most common and useful for a locksmith.
- Half diamond pick – This is the most common tool in a locksmith’s kit. It is mainly used for picking individual pins in a lock, and is around 0.5 to 1in long. It’s also used for wafer and disk locks. The pick is triangular shaped and comes in different angles. In a normal locksmith’s kit, you would expect to find at least three different half diamond picks, and a double half diamond pick.
- Hook pick – This is similar to the half diamond, but has a hook shaped tip. It’s often known as a ‘finger’, and is the most basic of all lock picks. A professional locksmith may only need this pick to open a door. A kit will contain a variety of sizes and shapes.
- Ball pick – Similar to the previous two picks, the end of a ball pick is circular. They are most often used to open wafer locks.
- Torsion wrench – Also known as a torque or tension wrench, this is used to apply torque to the plug of a lock. It is used once pins have been picked to hold them in place. The wrench turns the plug and opens the lock. It is most often shaped like the letter ‘L’. Torsion tools for cars resemble a pair of tweezers, and allow the locksmith to apply torque to both the top and bottom of the lock.
- Bump keys – This is the easiest tool to use when opening pin locks. Bump keys are keys that have been cut down to the lowest groove of the key. Each peak of the key is also equal. By inserting these into the lock, and striking them sharply with a hammer, a locksmith can force the top pins to jump up, thus making the lock far easier to open.
- Slagel pick – This is used for opening electronic locks, and works by selectively pulling internal parts of the lock to the correct positions using magnetic regions.
- Rake pick – There are a variety of rake picks available to a locksmith, and they are the perfect tool for beginners to practise with. They usually work well on cheaper locks. A rake pick works by bouncing the pins inside a lock around until they reach the shear line. When combined with a tension tool, this is one of the easiest ways to pick a lock.
- Warded pick – A warded pick is perhaps the most recognisable of a locksmith’s kit. It’s also known as a skeleton key. A warded pick is made in a simple key shape, so as to allow for internal manipulations within a lock. You can also use a warded pick to rip the lock, by placing the pick at the back of the lock and then pulling it out in one sharp ‘ripping’ action.
So there you go – a full explanation of the tools available to a locksmith.